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 Visit to the SAAF by the Chief of  the Brazilian Air Force

Article by Col Danie vd Westhuizen, SSO Corp Com, DCSS, photos by WO2 Christo Crous, DCSS

The Chief of the Brazilian Air Force, Lt Brig Juniti Saito officially visited the SAAF over the period 19 – 22 May 2008. During this brief visit Lt Brig Saito was accompanied by an aide-de-camp from his office, Maj Rodrigo Guastini whilst the Brazilian Air Force Attaché to South Africa, Col (Av) Paulo Erico Santos de Oliveira also accompanied the visiting delegation. CAF was the host, whereas Col Danie vd Westhuizen (SSO Corp Com - DCSS) and Capt Veronica Moeti (SO3 Foreign Relations – DCSS) took charge as Accompanying Officer and Military Liaison Officer respectively.

Having arrived from Brazil on Sunday, 18 May, the delegation was whisked off to a Bushveld experience to rest and acclimatise before being subjected to a very focused but well designed visit program, showcasing some of the SAAF’s capabilities in a limited time span of only three days.

The visit officially commenced on Monday, 19 May, with AFB Makhado playing host to the delegation. Later that afternoon, the group departed to Pretoria for the official welcoming function that evening at the Air Force Headquarters building in honour of the visiting Air Chief. Hosted by CAF, and attended by a select group of guests, among other the GOC Air Command, CDAPP and CDFP, the evening was a huge success exhibiting true Air Force hospitality.

On 20 May, the delegation departed for AFB Overberg and AFB Ysterplaat respectively to conclude the rest of the corporate scheduled program activities, before returning to Pretoria on 21 May for some industry interaction.

Lt Brig Saito departed for Brazil on Thursday, 22 May after, in his own words, was a very successful and enjoyable visit to the SAAF!

To all that have been involved along the way, thanks and appreciation is extended to ensure such a memorable outcome, also in aid of the pursuance of excellent bi-lateral relations with the Brazilian Air Force!

Note: During this visit, an interview was held with Lt Brig Saito, the product of which will be absorbed in a forthcoming edition of the Ad Astra magazine. Please enjoy some of the visual images taken during the visit.

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